An open letter to Benjamin Rabang


Dear Mr Rabang, I’m writing to you in your capacity as the designated sports commissioner, duly installed by the portfolio minister Hon Jerry Ekandjo with the task to keep an eagle eye on your subjects, while preserving fairness amongst various sporting disciplines, including boxing on whose ticket you are peddling.

In logic textbooks, arguments, notably deductive ones, are squeaky neat with the premises clearly distinguished from the conclusion and the conclusion indicated by the phrase “therefore”.

In genuine life, the structure of arguments is unlikely to be easy to identify but usually, at least one of the premises, they often come before and are rarely signposted by words such as “therefore” and ‘so”.

Consequently, it’s often necessary to clarify the precise relation between premises and conclusion before attempting to evaluate any argument.

As much as yours truly is in harmony with the structure of your argument that the Namibian Sports Act of 2003 does not necessarily prevent an Executive member of a sports organ to serve as a Commissioner on the National Sports Commission – detailed examination of your reasoning suggests otherwise.

Just because the Act does not prevent you from holding two crucial positions under the same roof should surely not be conveniently exploited as a loophole at the expense of logical thinking.

My dear brother, do the honourable thing and resign from your position as President of the Namibia Amateur Boxing Federation (NBF) without further delay.

Your lodging at the NBF constitutes a serious conflict of interest and boils down to sheer arrogance, punctuated by greed and power hunger, including a total disregard for logical thinking, and most importantly, the spirit of transparency.

It should be noted that one cannot be the magistrate, judge and prosecutor at the same time – you are wearing hopelessly too many hats and that’s not exactly a healthy situation to operate within.

I stand to be corrected, but if my ageing memory serves me right, I’m cocksure that you Mr Rabang was very vocal, and rightly so, advocating for your predecessor Kelly Nghixulifwa to step aside because the brother was exactly swimming in the same boat as yours, though the rules differed slightly.

NNOC must draw the line

Yours truly has been following with keen interest the unfolding shenanigans in the aftermath of serious damning allegations of sexual harassment levelled against Namibian boxer and flag-bearer Jonas Junius Jonas.

Being a great believer in the notion that one is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law – let us give the boy the benefit of the doubt, at least for the time being.

Now, what really puzzles the mind is the shoddy or rather amateurish fashion in which our designated sports officials in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, handled the issue.

Firstly, the alleged charges of sexual assault are extremely serious with the potential of straining the good international relations between the two countries involved.

Dear readers, please pardon me but it should be clearly noted that the athlete is not in Brazil to represent the Namibia Olympic Committee (NNOC) or Namibia Amateur Boxing Federation (NBF) – the brother is representing Namibia.

This brings yours truly to the understanding that instead of engaging lawyers, this matter should have involved the Namibian foreign minister dealing with his Brazilian counterpart to find an amicable solution, obviously guided by that country’s legal system.

As yours truly inks this article, news has just come through that Jonas has been released from custody and is ready to climb into the ring for his opening bout. It’s still not crystal clear whether the boy has been freed on bail or whatever conditions attached to his release.

Allowing Jonas to fight is an error of judgment and amounts to psychological and emotional torture, to say the least.

Now the fundamental questions that need to be raised are: Did Jonas receive any form of counselling upon his release from custody? Is the boy in the right frame of mind to fight after such an unpleasant ordeal? And is it wise to let him go ahead and fight under such circumstances? I’m just asking. I rest my case.



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